Home > News > Microsoft Device Helps Police With Cybercrimes • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Microsoft Device Helps Police With Cybercrimes

Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) assists law enforcement by gathering digital evidence
Microsoft Device Helps Police With Cybercrimes
Get XBIZ News
May 1, 2008 8:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft has developed a small plugin device that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that may have been used in crimes, according to The Seattle Times.

The COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) is a USB thumb drive that was distributed to a handful of law enforcement agencies last June.

The device contains 150 commands that can dramatically cut the time it takes to gather digital evidence, which is becoming more important in real-world crime, as well as cybercrime. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer.

It also eliminates the need to seize a computer itself, which typically involves disconnecting from a network, turning off the power and potentially losing data. Instead, the investigator can scan for evidence onsite.

More than 2,000 officers in 15 countries, including Poland, the Philippines, Germany, New Zealand and the U.S., are using the device, which Microsoft provides free.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith described its use to the 350 law enforcement experts attending a company conference Monday.

“These are things that we invest substantial resources in, but not from the perspective of selling to make money,” Smith said. “We're doing this to help ensure that the Internet stays safe.”

Smith compared the Internet of today to London and other Industrial Revolution cities in the early 1800s. As people flocked from small communities where everyone knew each other, anonymity emerged in the cities and a rise in crime followed.

“The social aspects of Web 2.0 are like new digital cities,” Smith said. Publishers, interested in creating huge audiences to sell advertising, let people participate anonymously.

That's allowing “criminals to infiltrate the community, become part of the conversation and persuade people to part with personal information,” Smith said.

Children are particularly at risk to anonymous predators or those with false identities.

“Criminals seek to win a child's confidence in cyberspace and meet in real space,” Smith cautioned.

Expertise and technology like COFEE are needed to investigate cybercrime and, increasingly, real-world crimes.

"So many of our crimes today, just as our lives, involve the Internet and other digital evidence," said Lisa Johnson, who heads the Special Assault Unit in the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. “A suspect's online activities can corroborate a crime or dispel an alibi.

“The 35 individual law enforcement agencies in King County, for example, don't have the resources to investigate the explosion of digital evidence they seize,” Johnson said. “They might even choose not to seize it because they don't know what to do with it. We've kind of equated it to asking specific law enforcement agencies to do their own DNA analysis. You can't possibly do that.”

Johnson said the prosecutor's office, the Washington attorney general's office and Microsoft are working on a proposal to the Legislature to fund computer forensic crime labs.

Microsoft also got credit for other public-private partnerships around law enforcement.

“Only 10 of 50 African countries have dedicated cybercrime investigative units,” Interpol's executive director of police services Jean-Michel Louboutin said. “The digital divide is no exaggeration. Even in countries with dedicated cybercrime units, expertise is often too scarce.”

He credited Microsoft for helping Interpol develop training materials and international databases used to prevent child abuse.

Smith acknowledged Microsoft's efforts are not purely altruistic.

“It benefits from selling collaboration software and other technology to law enforcement agencies, just like everybody else,” he said.

For more information, visit the Microsoft website.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

OPINIONS & VIEWS

Expanding Your Mastermind Group Should Be a Game Plan

After a decade of selling an automation software product for managing websites, it’s been interesting to follow the trends of our customers throughout the past year. At the end of every year, we... More »

‘Anything Interactive’ Will Be in Industry’s Future

With the new year upon us, many people focus on resolutions and 92 percent of those who make them don’t succeed in keeping them. Others look towards the future. Looking back to the early years of... More »

Focusing, Again, on Tradeshow Etiquette

I’m very excited to have been asked by XBIZ World to write the third part of my ongoing series of articles on tradeshow etiquette. In Part I of the series, I discussed business cards, substance... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 27 - Jan 29
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!